This family has many plants in it that are very important in the history of agriculture in the Americas. The Squashes and Pumpkins were part of the staple crops of many Native American groups.
Cucumbers, Squash, and Melons all have very similar appearances and growing habits. They are frost sensitive, so we start them in the greenhouse or sow them after danger of frost is passed in May. They like a fertile soil, so we make sure to feed the soil well where they will be growing.
Common Problems: Cucumber Beetles! Squash Bugs! In 2010 we had quite the battle with these critters. They suck the juices from the plants and so make them weaker. But the most damaging effect they have is the transmission of viral and bacterial diseases which will kill entire plants within a couple weeks. This year, we’ll be covering plantings with row covers for longer periods of time to act as a physical barrier to the bugs. We’ll also be experimenting with other methods such as timing plantings differently. Mulching around the plants is said to deter them.